TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 4TH, 2021

Western Pennsylvania is easing restrictions on travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Governor Tom Wolf rolled back COVID-19 travel restrictions that called for mandatory quarantines or a negative test from traveling from out of state.  An airport official from the Pittsburgh International Airport said they do not expect much to change to their passenger counts now that the restriction has eased.  Officials said the roll back on restrictions comes due to the amount of Pennsylvanians being vaccinated.

New positive cases of COVID-19 are increasing in Pennsylvania.  The state’s Department of Health reported more than 25-hundred new positive cases yesterday.  There have now been over 938-thousand positive cases confirmed in the state since the beginning of the pandemic.  There are currently about 17-hundred people hospitalized statewide with COVID-19, and of those cases, 354 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit. Lawrence County added 20 new Covid-19 cases yesterday bringing its total to 6,076 cases and 184 fatalities.

Pennsylvania’s allotment of Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine is going to all public and private school teachers. This comes after President Joe Biden directed states to prioritize vaccines for teachers this month. Governor Tom Wolf says they’re expecting about 94-thousand doses of the vaccine to be available when the program to vaccinate teachers launches sometime between March 10th and the 13th. Teachers will be notified on when they can register and where they can go to get vaccinated.

The Pennsylvania National Guard is going to assist the state in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout as Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill yesterday. Wolf says the bill will support the National Guard and other state agencies in the planning process for community vaccination clinics once the supply of vaccines increases. Under this initiative, the National Guard will be working with the state Department of Health in operating vaccination sites and administering doses. They will also be assisting with the state’s new plan to vaccinate teachers and school staff, set to start sometime next week.

Pittsburgh fans who want to see several Steelers legends get inducted into the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame later this year are going to be able to purchase tickets soon.  Tickets for the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony are going to go on sale tomorrow at ten-in-the-morning.  The ceremony is going to feature the inductions of both last year’s class and this year’s, which will include Steelers legends Troy Polamalu, Donnie Shell, Bill Cowher, Alan Faneca and Bill Nunn.

The Pennsylvania State Police Association president is urging the governor to vaccinate all state troopers. President of the union, Sergeant David Kennedy, says over seven-hundred of their members have been infected with COVID-19 directly and brought it home to their families. He added that another two-hundred of their civilian employees were also infected. The governor’s press secretary says the state is eager to start vaccinating troopers as soon as more doses are available. The State Police Association hopes that comes soon as Kennedy says an outbreak could cripple their department.

A state House committee hearing focused on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Annual Report. The House Game & Fisheries Committee received the commission’s report for 2020. Executive Director Bryan Burhans testified to the proactive and innovative efforts made by his staff to keep essential operations working. Burhans noted increased visits to state game lands due to the pandemic, as well as higher sales of hunting and fur taking licenses, and stronger interaction with the public on websites, social media and viewing of game cameras.

Authorities in Butler County report a two vehicle crash yesterday morning. It happened on route 422 near the intersection of Bonniebrook Road in Summit Township. A car crashed into the back of a tractor trailer. One person was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital then was flown to a Pittsburgh Hospital. The investigation into the crash is continuing.